Valve has updated the Steam Controller with some brand new features, some new fixes, and some improvements for how it works with both games that support controllers and games which don't. One of the new changes is the ability to add Action Sets in addition to the Mode-Shift options.

Gamespot covered the update for the Steam Controller, which is available along with some SteamVR updates in the Steam beta program. If you want to participate in the Steam beta client you can do so from the drop-down menu and clicking on properties and heading to the “Beta” tab where you can opt into the available betas. They have detailed instructions on how to do so over on the Steam FAQ page.

As for the Steam Controller, you can get even more functionality out of the sexy beast than before. They've made it where gamers can use Action Sets to bind to a button. Additionally, they can be named, edited, and deleted as you see fit. It's almost like a macro setup that you might find with most high-end mechanical gaming keyboards. So the controller picks up even more functionality than it already has. Valve also plans on expanding the Action Sets in the future with even more bindings.

One of the more annoying features of the controller has been removed; the hard-coded stick click keyboard shortcut that brings up the virtual keyboard has been removed and replaced with an action binding in the desktop configuration. It was kind of annoying when playing some games and pressing certain buttons and the keyboard shortcut would be activated.

Valve has also made it where some non-Steam games will now apply settings to the Steam Controller that they weren't applying before. You simply have to make sure “Allow Launchers” is turned off in the settings.

They also fixed controllers not turning off during the suspend power mode when in desktop mode. That can definitely be a real drain on the battery if the controllers don't turn off with the computer being suspended. Usually the Steam Controller is pretty good at turning itself off after a few minutes of inactivity.

Additionally, developers have also fixed the horizontal invert setting not working when applying the “Mouse Joystick” option to the haptic pads.

The firmware update should automatically apply when you start up Steam. Simply turn the controller on when the client is up by pressing the Steam home button in the center of the controller and accept the update.

So far I love the controller and it's probably the best controller I've ever used. My only gripe with it is that the face buttons are a little small and a little low under the right haptic pad. However, the precision customization of the haptic pads are insane and they can offer nearly 1:1 mouse-style precision control if you tweak the sensitivity settings in the advanced controller menus. It takes some getting used to but it's impossible to play shooter games or action titles without it once you tweak it to perfection.

The Steam Controller is available right now for $49.99 from participating retailers and from the Steam store itself.
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